California Kingsnake

What Do Kingsnakes Eat?

Kingsnakes are quite popular among beginner snake owners for their bright colorful patterns and general docile nature. As a first-time snake owner, you are probably wondering what you should feed your kingsnake.

 Kingsnakes are carnivorous. In the wild, they can be found eating small lizards, birds, eggs, rodents, and even other snakes.

What to feed your kingsnake?

For adult kingsnakes, you should feed them mice. Smaller kingsnakes might require pinkies. The size of the food really depends on the size of your snake.

A good rule of thumb is to check the thickest part of your kingsnake. The mice or pinkie you feed it should be as thick as that. 

When feeding mice, I always recommend frozen. There are some small pros and cons to both live and frozen feed. But it all just boils down to personal preference. 

If you choose to feed your snake live mice then go ahead. Personally, I find frozen to be more convenient.

kingsnake feeding

How often should you feed your kingsnake?

Snakes don’t need to be fed that often. For adult kingsnakes feeding them once every 10 days should be enough. 

If your snake is a juvenile then you might need to feed them a bit more often which is every 5 to 7 days.

Snakes have a very slow metabolism. Also, they are ectothermic which means they don’t produce their own body heat. As a result, they don’t really burn a lot of calories and can go on for weeks without eating. 

In captivity, snakes get even lesser chance to spend energy as they don’t need to hunt for food and are confined to an enclosure. So, don’t feed them too often. These numbers may vary based on the weight of your kingsnake. If your kingsnake is overweight or underweight then you might need to follow a modified feeding routine until they get back to health.

Why your kingsnake might not eat?

All first-time snake owners freak out when their snakes suddenly stop eating. We’ve all been there. Even me. 

Most snakes are not really into eating as much as we are. They don’t eat unless they really need to. 

There can be plenty of natural causes due to which snakes may go long periods of time without eating. These include a change in climate, temperature change, laying snakes, etc. 

Sometimes snakes can go into a hibernation type state called brumation. While in brumation snakes slow down their metabolism by a lot allowing them to survive without food for 1 to 3 months. That’s why a snake in brumation may stop eating. 

Just keep an eye on your snake’s weight. Unless it drops below 10% of the snake’s natural body weight there’s nothing to be worried about. 


Snakes are not very demanding when it comes to feeding them. So, if you’re thinking about bringing home a kingsnake then there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. We hope this article was of help to you. Wishing you the best of luck. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Comment